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UBC Theses and Dissertations

International cancer control congresses : do they make a difference? Sarwal, Kavita


Statement of the Problem This study has taken advantage of a “natural experiment,” the holding of International Cancer Control Congresses (ICCC) to conduct research that assesses the value of such undertakings, and examines ways for effectively pursuing positive change in improving policy and practice related to cancer control. Given the importance of this global challenge, this study investigates the question: Do International Cancer Control Congresses influence reported changes in participant behaviors and activities that enhance the development or implementation of population-based cancer control programs and increased collaborations? Methods of Investigation The population of interest included all the congress registered participants for two International Cancer Control Congresses—362 individuals at the 3rd ICCC for the first pod of surveys; and 310 participants at ICCC4 for the second pod of surveys. The primary data collection instrument was self-report surveys, surveyed in two pods. Each pod included an on-site survey followed by a follow-up survey a few months later on the same census sample of participants. Research instruments for data collection included surveys, interviews, conference documentation, observations as well as secondary data from WHO publications and appropriate web based publications like country plans and others. The study was organized as a mixed methods research using a triangulation design that allowed a mix of both quantitative and qualitative data in a single study. Conclusions The study indicates that most respondents gained professionally in improved understanding of global population based cancer control programs and new insights into cancer control. Through sharing best practices and insights gained at the congress in their jurisdictions, many indicated that the Congress has helped them in their cancer control work, including increased awareness for establishing collaborations and for setting up surveillance systems; also highlighting for them the importance of expediting national cancer/integrated non-communicable disease plans. Increasing their networks, participants continue experiencing a rise in interest and involvement in cancer control. The Latin American Region research reveals that it takes time before initiatives emerge and can be attributed to ICCC. In revealing which finds are inconclusive, this study offers opportunities for cohort longitudinal investigations.

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